Having Hashimoto’s and suffering from the symptoms that come along with an underactive thyroid can make every day feel like a struggle. You’re dealing with fatigue, weight gain, pain, and poor sleep, which means you can hardly keep up and enjoy your life. If you’ve been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, you probably already know that your diagnosis simply means that your immune system is in hyperdrive, and your metabolism is the one that takes the heat.
Of course, when you’re in the thick of your condition, you may want to try any possible remedy or lifestyle change that will help you replenish your energy and keep your symptoms at bay. However, for individuals battling an autoimmune condition, overdoing it can become a real danger. If you push yourself too hard, you might inadvertently make your condition worse. Don’t waste what little energy you have. If you avoid these three major mistakes, you’ll be on your way to healing in no time.
1. Too Much Exercise
With all of the traditional medical advice you’ve been given, this might come as a surprise. One of the most frustrating symptoms of your Hashimoto’s is probably weight gain and depleted energy. When you aren’t producing enough thyroid hormone, your metabolism activity drops, and losing weight feels like it’s impossible.
You may have the urge to get really serious at the gym and push yourself to your limit, but if you have Hashimoto’s, make sure to proceed with caution.
Too much exercise or working out too strenuously will put a lot of stress on your adrenals to produce cortisol and overcompensate for your low energy levels.
While your body tries to make sense of the need for more energy, the cortisol will impede your thyroid function to a greater extent, which means you won’t be losing that stubborn weight. If you’re worried about pushing yourself too hard, try getting into low-impact exercise like yoga or walking. These are great ways to stay active without adding extra stress to your system. Another great option is participating in high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for 10-15 minutes a few time every week.
2. Adopting Change Too Quickly
Another mistake I often see with patients who aren’t making the progress they’d like to see is adopting lifestyle changes too quickly. These changes are usually related to food, sleep, and physical activity, which also impact our relationships and routines. Following too many new “rules” all at once is going to cause stress. Further, you might feel as if you’ve failed if you can’t seem to implement all of them successfully.
Instead of trying to change every habit you’ve built up over time in a day, consider trying only a few at a time.
Set attainable goals for yourself. Once these are completed, add a few more goals, and continue the process. Regaining control over your health is only great if your efforts stick!
3. Ignoring Stress
One of the most important mistakes you need to be aware of is ignoring stress and letting it fester.
I’ve seen far too many patients ignore stress management, which will ultimately affect all of the progress you’ve made in areas of nutrition, sleep, and exercise.
Learning how to manage stress is one of the building blocks of thyroid health; if you’re constantly reacting to too much stress, your thyroid is being bombarded by excess cortisol. Not only that, but also stress can throw off your insulin and melatonin production, meaning that you may experience high blood sugar or inefficient sleep. If you’re trying to take control over your health, make sure to add stress management practices like yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or time in nature to your regular routine.